Royal Mint reveals rare coins from Queen Elizabeth II’s reign


The Royal Mint has revealed some of the rarest coins to enter circulation during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Rare coins to look out for in your change include a coveted Kew Gardens 50p and a selection of special alphabet 10p coins.

Some highly prized coins may be traded on websites such as eBay for far higher than their face value.

Some rare coins previously issued by the Mint have fallen out of circulation, such as “round pounds” which were superseded by 12-sided versions in 2017 which are harder to counterfeit and 50p coins which were removed due to requirements for a smaller version of the 50p.

By sharing the list of rare designs we hope people will look closely at their coins – if they’re lucky they might find a piece of history

Mark Loveridge, Royal Mint

Queen Elizabeth II appeared on more UK coins than any other British monarch, with approximately 27 billion coins still in active circulation, according to the Mint.

It said that 2022 marked a new era for British coinage as the last coins bearing the late Queen’s portrait were struck, and the first coins featuring the King entered circulation.

Currently, there are around 29 billion coins in circulation in the UK.

Demand for coins issued into circulation is determined by demand from UK banks and post offices. The Mint then responds by issuing coins on behalf of the Treasury.

Mark Loveridge, director of UK currency at the Royal Mint, said: “2022 marked one of the biggest changes in coinage since decimalisation as we moved from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III.

“The coinage of Queen Elizabeth II spanned 70 years and special designs issued into circulation celebrated some of the biggest events in history.

“Although the 2022 mintage figures mark the last time that Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait will appear on new coins, over 27 billion of her coins will remain in circulation.

“Coin collecting remains a popular hobby in the UK and the coins of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign are particularly coveted. By sharing the list of rare designs we hope people will look closely at their coins – if they’re lucky they might find a piece of history.”

Here is a list of rare coins compiled by the Royal Mint, with information about the year of release, denomination, design features and whether or not the coin is still in circulation:

– 2019, 10p, a set of “A to Z” coins celebrating Britain. Letters Y, W and Z each had a mintage of 63,000, yes.

– 2019, 10p, also from the A to Z collection, the letter R had a mintage of 64,000, yes.

– 2019, 10p, all other letters in the A to Z collection had a mintage of 84,000, yes.

– 1992-1993, 50p, the coin celebrated the UK’s presidency of the Council of Ministers and the completion of the European single market. The design included a representation of a table with 12 stars, linked by a network of lines and the mintage was 109,000. The Mint said this was the lowest number of its 50ps issued into circulation, no.

– 2009, 50p, the design features the Kew Gardens pagoda with a decorative leafy climber twining in and around the tower, 210,000, yes.

– 2018 dated, 10p, the A to Z 10p collection celebrating Britain, each letter in this year had a mintage of 220,000, yes.

– 2015, £2, this coin paid tribute to the Royal Navy and its role during the First World War, and had a mintage of 650,000, yes.

– 2015, £2, it featured Britannia for the first time on a circulating £2 coin, with a mintage of 650,000, yes.

– 1985, 50p, the coin featured a figure of Britannia, with a shield, with a mintage of 682,103, no.

– 2002, £2, four £2 coins celebrating each home nation for the Commonwealth Games. Mintage figures for Scotland were 771,750, for Wales, 588,500, for Ireland, 485,500, and for England 650,500, yes.

– 2012, £2, the coin celebrated the closing of the 2012 Olympics and had a mintage of 845,000, yes

– 2008, £2, the coin marked the centenary of the Olympic Games, with mintage of 910,000, yes.

– 2008, £2, the coin marked the end of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, with a mintage of 918,000, yes.

– 2011, £2, the coin commemorated 400 years since the King James Bible was published, with a mintage of 975,000, yes.

– 2018, 50p, a series of coins celebrated Beatrix Potter’s classic tales, with a mintage of 1,400,000 each for the Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny designs, yes.

– 2011, 50p, a series of coins celebrating the London 2012 Olympics. Mintages included 1,454,000 for tennis, 1,161,500 for judo and 1,129,500 for wrestling, yes.

– 2010-2011, £1, a series of round pound coins featuring official badges of capital cities in the UK. They had mintages of 935,000 for Edinburgh, 2,635,000 for London and 1,615,000 for Cardiff, no.

– 2008, £1,  the round pound coin featured the UK’s Royal Arms, with a mintage of 3,910,000, no.


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